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Kevorkian to be released

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Evil ... Thy name is Orville Redenbacher!!, May 28, 2007.

  1. Don't think he'll be performing any assisted suicides - unless its his own.

    Kevorkian to be released Friday

    LANSING, Michigan (AP) -- For nearly a decade, Dr. Jack Kevorkian waged a defiant campaign to help other people kill themselves.
    The retired pathologist left bodies at hospital emergency rooms and motels and videotaped a death that was broadcast on CBS' "60 Minutes." His actions prompted battles over assisted suicide in many states.
    But as he prepares to leave prison June 1 after serving more than eight years of a 10- to 25-year sentence in the death of a Michigan man, Kevorkian will find that there's still only one state that has a law allowing physician-assisted suicide -- Oregon.
    Experts say that's because abortion opponents, Catholic leaders, advocates for the disabled and often doctors have fought the efforts of other states to follow the lead of Oregon, where the law took effect in late 1997.
    Opponents defeated a measure in Vermont this year and are fighting similar efforts in California. Bills have failed in recent years in Hawaii, Wisconsin and Washington state, and ballot measures were defeated earlier by voters in Washington, California, Michigan and Maine.
    Kevorkian's release could spur another round of efforts, if only to prevent anyone else from following his example.
    "One of the driving forces of the (Oregon) law was to prevent the Jack Kevorkians from happening," said Kate Davenport, a communications specialist at the Death with Dignity National Center in Portland, Oregon, which defended Oregon's law against challenges.
    "It wasn't well regulated or sane," she said. "There were just too many potential pitfalls."
    Kevorkian, 79, was criticized even by assisted suicide supporters because of his unconventional practices.
    He used a machine he'd invented to administer fatal drugs and dropped off bodies at hospital emergency rooms or coroner's offices, or left them to be discovered in the motel rooms where he often met those who wanted his help.
    At the time, some doctors didn't want to give dying patients too much pain medication, fearing they'd be accused of hastening death.
    Oregon law allows only terminally ill, mentally competent adults who can self-administer the medication to ask a physician to prescribe life-ending drugs, and they must make that request once in writing and twice orally.
    Oregon's experience shows that only a tiny percentage of people will ever choose to quicken their death, said Sidney Wanzer, a retired Massachusetts doctor who has been a leader in the right-to-die movement.
    From the time the law took effect in 1997 until the end of last year, 292 people asked their doctors to prescribe the drugs they would need to end their lives, an average of just over 30 a year. Most of the 46 people who used the process last year had cancer, and their median age was 74, according to a state report.
    Experts say the attention on assisted suicide has helped raise awareness caring for the terminally ill.
    "End-of-life care has increased dramatically" in Oregon with more hospice referrals and better pain management, says Valerie Vollmar, a professor at Oregon's Willamette University College of Law who writes extensively on physician-assisted death.
    Opponents and supporters of physician-assisted death say more needs to be done to offer hospice care and pain treatment for those who are dying and suffering from debilitating pain.
    "The solution here is not to kill people who are getting inadequate pain management, but to remove barriers to adequate pain management," said Burke Balch, director of the Powell Center for Medical Ethics at the National Right to Life Committee, which opposes assisted suicide.
    "We need to come up with better solutions to human suffering and human need," Balch said.
    More end-of-life care is needed, but doctors should have a right to assist those who ask for their help in dying, Wanzer said.
    There are a handful of patients who have the best of care, everything has been done right, but they still suffer. And it's this person I think should have the right to say, `This is not working and I want to die sooner,"' Wanzer said.
    Kevorkian has promised he'll never again advise or counsel anyone about assisted suicide once he's out of prison. But his attorney, Mayer Morganroth, said Kevorkian isn't going to stop pushing for more laws allowing it.
    The state wants to go after money that Kevorkian makes following his release to help cover the cost of his incarceration. Morganroth has said his client has been offered as much as $100,000 to speak. Many of those speeches are expected to be on assisted suicide.
    "It's got to be legalized," Kevorkian said in a phone interview from prison aired by a Detroit TV station on Monday. "I'll work to have it legalized. But I won't break any laws doing it."
  2. Hank_Scorpio

    Hank_Scorpio Active Member

    I guess he isn't in the best of health. Not dying, by any means, but not healthy either.
  3. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    I'm dying to see him.

    I could not resist.
  4. zagoshe

    zagoshe Well-Known Member

    The sad thing is -- he might want to die and won't be able to find someone to help him do it.

    I still have no idea why this guy was locked up.
  5. RedSmithClone

    RedSmithClone Active Member

    I admire Dr. Death

    For christ's sake, we put dying animals to sleep more comfortably than we let humans pass on.

    That is a frigging joke in my book!
  6. Because we legislate "morality."

    Add: Which is also the reason I can't buy beer on Sundays. Fucking bastards.
  7. I agree, but that is a slippery slope.

    You can buy beer in W.Va after 1 p.m., but no liquor.
    One Sunday, when I worked in South Carolina (not in papers) I had to go to a speakeasy (some guy's trailer in the middle of nowwhere) and fork over $10 for a 12-pack of lukewarm Busch Light.
    It still amazes there are so many dry counties in Kentucky.
  8. Awesome! Now I can get his "Dr. Death" cover of "Time" magazine autographed!
  9. PhilaYank36

    PhilaYank36 Guest

    I'm very conflicted over this issue, and both sides are b/c of my Catholic beliefs. On one side, we are all taught that "thou shalt not kill." There's little wiggle room in that. But according to the New Testament-line of thinking, we are told to care for one another and (this is my own personal interpretation) to spare others from unnecessary harm and pain. If I was definitely dying, and there was no cure for what I was dying of on the immediate horizon, not only would I want to avoid a miserable end to a good life, but I don't want to put my family members through the pain and misery of seeing me slowly die a painful, miserable death. I saw my grandmother succumb to Alzheimers', and it was one of THE most traumatic things of my life. I refuse to even enter a nursing home now, no matter how plush and nice it may be.

    Then again, who am I to judge who lives and who dies? This is definitely one of the most difficult questions a person can face.
  10. Don't know 'bout your Catholic upbring, but I was taught you commit suicide - assisted or other - you burn for eternity.

    I'm with you in reagrds to Alzheimers. ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease is another on I'd like to avoid).
  11. PhilaYank36

    PhilaYank36 Guest

    I'm probably one of the few Catholics that had a pastor that was neither the hellfire-n-brimstone type or a pervert. Anyway, I guess I have a looser interpretation of what Jesus allegedly said, but I get the feeling that He wanted us to truly show compassion for others. I may be wrong and I'll freely admit that. The main thought that keeps popping into my head, no matter how cliche-ish it may be, is "what would Jesus do?" On one hand, seeing your death to the end may be a test to see how strong your will and soul are. On the other, would He just want the person and their family to be spared the physical/emotional pain?

    Sorry if I come off as trying to push my beliefs on anyone. I'm open-minded as far as what other people have to say.
  12. PCLoadLetter

    PCLoadLetter Well-Known Member

    Actually, they were saying a few months ago that he is terminal, and that was part of the argument in favor of his release.

    Not sure he's a very good poster boy for doctor assisted suicide. As I recall, he wasn't all that good about actually checking into the medical backgrounds of those he assisted. If I recall correctly, he had at least one that turned out to be depressed and not actually terminally ill.
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